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Sharing the Road with Bikes
Getting ready to hit the road? While you can’t control what a bicyclist does, you can make driving choices that are smart when bikes are around:
Same roads, same rules. It’s important to know bicyclists and bikes are considered drivers and vehicles. They are expected to follow the same rules of the road and deserve the same respect as anyone else on the street.
Slow down and give them space. On roads without bike lanes, drivers are expected to give bicyclists four feet of space while passing and to do so at a safe speed.
Stay in your lane. When rounding curves or taking corners it’s important to stay in your lane. Keeping your car clear of the bike lane makes the roadways safer for everyone.
Use your lights. In many areas, bikes are expected to have lights to make them more visible to other people on the roads. In the same regard, your headlights can help cyclists be aware of your presence.
Avoid the horn. Without the protective cabin of a car, bikers are vulnerable to loud noises and other environmental factors that can cause them to go into avoidance mode, which can seem erratic on the road. Avoiding your horn lets everyone on the road travel predictably.
Be cautious around young bikers. They may not have the mastery of bike control or the knowledge that comes from long-term use of busy roads and should be approached and passed with extra caution.
Look before opening. If you’re parked on the street, check to make sure a cyclist isn’t approaching before you open the door.
A bicyclist is simply trying to reach his or her destination — just like you! Giving them a little extra space and the same respect as anyone else is a great way to help make the roads safer for everyone.